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Join the Fight to Protect our Urban Plants by Linda Johnson

March 6, 2021 8:52 PM
By Linda Johnson in GLD Challenge magazine 2020-21

Join the Fight to Protect our Urban Plants by Linda Johnson

Join the Fight to Protect our Urban Plants
by Linda Johnson

Hopefully, as a member of the Green Liberal Democrats, you are not one to consider spraying the unwanted plants that grow amongst your prize dahlias with glyphosate 'weed'-killer? Glyphosate, especially, is banned by several counties in the UK and by several countries internationally, either for specific uses or outright. Why? Because there are many papers now evidencing its toxicity to worms, especially those which live near the surface of the ground, and to bees, where it affects juvenile development, the functioning of the bees' radar and the ability of bees to 'dance' to show where food sources are. The manufacturers themselves advise not to use it when children and animals are around. It is also toxic to adults according to the many who are suing Bayer, the company which bought out Monsanto the original producers. Bayer is being sued for causing lymphoma in (adult) users and has lost 3 lawsuits so far. Bayer expects future litigation to cost it $2bn and has seen its share price drop over 50% in the last 3 years, although it continues to say it is safe for adults to use.

The fact that Bayer admit glyphosate is dangerous to use when children and animals are around is warning enough to me not to use it! And what are worms and bees if not animals? We need both to help produce our food, therefore anything we do to disturb the biome in which they live could be ultimately detrimental to our own health and well-being. However, unfortunately, people do use glyphosate and other 'weed'-killers and insecticides which are adversely affecting our bee populations. We have already lost 17 bee species, 25 species are threatened and 31 are of concern. But it's not just the use of harmful chemicals which is killing them, it's the loss of habitats. Those plants which poke their way between concrete slabs on pavements, grow on walls, appear in tree-pits and annoy you by disturbing the perfect 'green' of your prized lawn are there for a reason and we should be supporting, not killing this diversity which nature has provided.

There is now a movement called 'More than Weeds' which has grown out of the French 'sauvages de ma rue' and is active in Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Spain, Canada and the USA.

Residents are encouraged to spot 'urban plants', identify them and chalk their name next to them rather than kill them or pull them up.

France is one of the countries which has banned the use of glyphosate in cities, towns and villages and is encouraging residents to sow seeds to help increase the numbers of pollinating insects and to protect worms. Wouldn't it be a great project for GLD members to adopt and promote in schools and amongst young people whilst our councillors bring motions to get glyphosate banned in our urban areas?

You can find out more at www.morethanweeds.co.uk

STOP PRESS: There is a suggestion that the derogation may not be granted because thresholds have not been met due to the recent cold weather - worth keeping an ear open.